National Dance in Mexico
3 October 2012
Heather Rees reports
It was a joy to return to Mexico and have the privilege of examining the dedicated students of National Dance. Candidates were entered at both Grade and Vocational level. Their love of the subject and dedication to detail emanated through their performance. The background knowledge was impressive and – although projects are no longer compulsory – all students had prepared something visual. The students are all very creative and produced a variety of items, which were displayed in the studios. This aspect of the National examinations makes a colourful and interesting addition to the sessions.
Four-day course: Revised Vocational Syllabus
The course in Mexico City, held at the studio of Auda de los Cobos, covered the revised Vocational examinations. The atmosphere throughout the four-day course was one of complete enjoyment and the revised format of the syllabi was welcomed with pleasure and enthusiasm. The introduction of the Steps sequences and the re-introduction of many of the ‘old favourite’ dances proved extremely popular. It was particularly valuable to have such a large number of participants. All the group dances could be covered thoroughly, giving a clear picture of the patterns.
Many thanks are extended to Auda de los Cobos and Marie Carmen Lajud and to all who took part in this very successful weekend of study.
Ballet Folklórico at Bellas Artes
The visit to Mexico provided another opportunity to see the wonderful dance company, Ballet Folklórico de México. The stunning costumes, high-energy element, superb rhythms, beautiful arrangements and the polished presentation of the dancers of the company were a tribute to the choreographers and the dance captains. The theatre itself is worthy of a visit – just to gaze at the décor is marvellous and, in particular, the paintings high on the ceiling above the auditorium. Also on this occasion, there was a very special added bonus as my colleague Gaynor Walter and I were invited by Viviana Basanta to visit backstage prior to the performance and observe the excellent warm up of the dancers. The demanding class ensured all the dancers were thoroughly prepared for the performance – I wish I could have joined in!